Remembering Chelsea

Chelsea Gable, the voice of Classic Elite Yarns, passed away in an auto accident on September 3rd. Chelsea was such a positive presence – she laughed a lot, loved her various jobs, and especially loved the yarnie-world.

At TNNA, June 2010

Betsy Perry, owner of Classic Elite Yarns, remembers when she first spoke to Chelsea about a job with CEY – Chelsea described herself this way:
I spent much of my adult life concertedly laying the groundwork for a future career in hospitality [where she held several significant positions]. That all changed when I picked up my first pair of knitting needles. I learned to knit in the summer of 2008 on a summer cottage on the banks of Lake Blaisdell, surrounded by three generations of knitters. I continued on the screened porch, in the car, on the train, at home, and sitting in restaurants and cafes. I consumed books, videos and blogs.
When I was hired part time at my local yarn store, my knitting career exploded; I was able to pursue my craft in a creative, colorful and expressive environment and my skill, knowledge, and creative boldness increased exponentially! During my days and nights of working in a restaurant, I often mourned the hours that could be spent researching knitting, talking about knitting, or actually knitting.
Chelsea joined CEY in early 2010 and worked on all sorts of projects – writing copy, overhauling the website, getting this blog up and running, publishing the Web-Letter and every other odd-ball project that came her way. She grew up in NYC and loved visiting there regularly, but she also loved Boston and camping in New Hampshire.

Posing for a Web-Letter photo (she didn't want to do it, but complied with a big smile anyway).

Everyone at CEY, whether they worked much with her or not was touched by Chelsea. A few of our favorite memories and stories follow – if you would like to share one of your memories of Chelsea, please feel free to do so in the comments.

Chelsea was a delightful, bright and beautiful woman. She was always upbeat no matter how much we would bug her with questions and requests and problems. She had a wonderful talent with words – her writing was fluid and clear and always entertaining. She had a smile for everyone and great stories to share. She will be missed here and in the world.

I did not have the same interaction with Chelsea that most of our crew did. Mostly a greeting in the morning or a "Good Night" when leaving. And some occasional chit chat in the lunchroom. Chelsea was just so pleasant, upbeat and full of energy. Most of all she had the best great big smile, I am really going to miss that smile.

Office knit-a-long, August 2011
In one of my last conversations with Chelsea she made me feel really good about myself with one simple line... We all know it's a little difficult parenting 17 year olds, because Chelsea sat the next cube over from me she couldn't help but hear me on the phone with my daughter who was being a bit difficult. After the call, she and I joked about the situation and Chelsea said you are such a calm and good Mom. Chelsea had a gift for making others feel good about themselves.

I am very glad that I told her that my work day was more fun when she was in the office. I will miss her terribly.

I would just like to say how warm and friendly Chelsea was. She would help me with my computer from time to time. I never saw her mad or upset, always upbeat. Chelsea, you will surely be missed.

"I finished my Elizabeth sweater in time for VK Live!"

She was one of those people that made you feel comfortable to talk with right from the start. I enjoyed spending time with her both at work and personally. I felt when working on any project with her it was always a collaboration, never a confrontation or battle of wills.

I remember eating dinner, all appetizers, with her, Susan and Betsy one night at the end of TNNA and we all had a great time with many laughs. We got several funny looks from the tables around us because we were being loud and having way too much fun!

Chelsea and I would tease each other about our opposite sweater styles. She loved loose fitting sweaters with miles of stockinette; I favor fitted lace, cables and ruffles. Last week when I checked my ravelry friend’s activities, I noticed she had favorited a cute cabled tunic in Ariosa. When I saw her collecting Ariosa, I told her I knew what she was going to make and thought it was beautiful. She laughed and said she had already changed her mind and found a nice “boring” stockinette sweater to make with the yarn instead.

You're already sorely missed, Chelsea.
(She jumped up to take this photo – quick to avoid being in front of the camera.)

Chelsea had been working on a Liberty Wool Print pullover for a long time. She usually stuck with neutral, solid yarns so it was a huge leap for her. While knitting at the lunch table, Chelsea repeatedly broke the yarn, dug through a project bag of partial balls, carefully chose one, re-joined the yarn and continued knitting.

She was meticulously, row by row, matching the stripes of the printed yarn she was knitting with the other half of the sweater that was already done. It was hilarious and everyone poked fun at her. She took it all with a big smile and undoubtedly had plenty of witty one-liners ready in response. There are few instances where I've ever had more fun knitting.

I got to share much of my work at CEY with Chelsea, usually because she ended all of her e-mails with "can I help?".

She was our voice (online and more), and a shining light. We will miss her very much. Chelsea leaves behind a legacy of joy and creativity. She also leaves quite a few WIPs!


  1. Wow, I am so shocked to hear that the world has lost what sounds like a beautiful and vibrant soul. It is obvious from your various remarks she was loved and appreciated, that is all we can hope for as we live out lives - to make someone else's life a bit easier and happier. I hope she is at peace and her family finds comfort in the kind messages from her coworkers.

  2. What beautiful tributes to a beautiful woman (inside and out). My condolences to those that knew and love her.

  3. she truly was loved by your group. So sad to hear of her passing especially at such a young age. Know that she is still got knitting needles kniting along with everyone at CEY

  4. I only knew her from the blog, and I did not discover it very long ago but I enjoyed reading the posts and news letters. The description of her in this tribute matches the impression that I got of her, and I thing that's wonderful. I'm sad that I won't get to know her better.

  5. I only just got to know Chelsea a few weeks ago through email, but, she made me feel special, important, and thought of. Her "voice" was so sweet and funny - she literally made me laugh out loud. I consider myself very blessed that she was in my life, even though it was much, much too brief. My heart breaks at such a loss for CEY, for her family, and for the world in general.

  6. I met her at YMN and I REMEMBER her. She had such good, positive, upbeat energy. I was particularly impressed at how she stepped up to help at the counter at one of the LYSes we visited on our shop crawl. I can only imagine how good working with her and really knowing her would have been. I'm so sorry for your, and her family's, loss.

  7. sad to hear this news. I can see the smile through the pictures. sorry for your and the family's loss.

  8. We did not know Chelsea at our LYS in Missouri but are great friends of CEY. We share in your loss and are praying for all of you, her family, and the company as a whole

  9. I am heartbroken to hear of Chelsea's passing. She was a joyful soul who encouraged me to self-publish my first pattern. Her enthusiasm bubbled over into every word she wrote, and I will always be grateful for her kind, gentle support, which made me believe I could do it. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. You are all in my thoughts and prayers, and I grieve with you.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. This news is quite shocking, accidental deaths always seem so wasteful as opposed to age or illness.
    I had just been at my local yarn shop last week and purchased 3 lots of Liberty to make her Splash of Colour Cowl for Xmas gifts, kinda of taken the joy out of that project now.
    Sorry for all her family and friends.

  12. Just read the news in my issue of YMN today and am so sorry for this loss! I had the pleasure of getting to know Chelsea when she applied for a job with my company. She was SO perfect for the job (as a social media manager) but was so loyal and dedicated to CEY, she said she could never imagine leaving. I totally understood why. So sad that such a dynamic, vibrant and clearly talented woman has left us all too soon. My condolences go out to everyone at CEY, her family and friends.

  13. i miss her. so much. today i come across this blog about - because i googled Chels. I'm grateful that so many people enjoyed her.